Course Descriptions and Numbers

The information on this page has been updated for the 2019-20 school year.

AP Biology (DMACC, NCAA, RAI)
SCI501 and SCI502
(Elective 10-11-12)      Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Biology; Chemistry is recommended

This course is equivalent to a college course for biology majors. Students who enroll should be academically prepared to do college work and should understand that a college lab course requires additional time. A college text is used and laboratory activities are typical of those done in college.

Topics to be studied include biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, animals and plants, ecology, evolution, embryology, biotechnology, human systems, and a vertebrate dissection. Students who successfully complete AP Biology will be well prepared to take the National Advanced Placement Biology examination in May. Successful achievement on this exam may earn a student college credit. This course must be taken for DMACC credit.

Taking the Advanced Placement exam is the culmination of the AP course curriculum.

Those students not writing the AP exam will have the course designated “Accelerated Biology” on their transcript, and their grade will not be weighted. Both semesters of a yearlong course, plus writing the AP exam, are required for a weighted grade.

Each exam has a cost that will be incurred by the student.  If students are in need of financial assistance to help with the cost of AP exams, please see your assigned counselor for information.

AP Chemistry (DMACC, NCAA, RAI)
SCI503 and SCI504
(Elective 10-11-12)     Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Chemistry or enrollment in Honors or Scholars Track; and at least concurrent enrollment in Algebra II and Trigonometry

AP Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of a first-year college chemistry course. A college text is used, and a variety of college-level experiments will be done in the laboratory. Topics such as the structure of matter, kinetic theory of gases, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics will be presented in considerable depth. The course should contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas orally or in writing, with clarity and logic when dealing with chemical problems. This will prepare the students to take the AP Chemistry exam given in the spring, the results of which may qualify the students to earn college credit.

It is assumed that the students who enroll in this course possess sufficient chemistry background knowledge and math skills to enable them to succeed in a college level chemistry course. Prior to selecting this course you should discuss your qualifications with the course instructor. It is recommended you have earned an A or A- in Chemistry. This course must be taken for DMACC credit.

Taking the Advanced Placement exam is the culmination of the AP course curriculum.

Those students not writing the AP exam will have the course designated “Accelerated Chemistry” on their transcript, and their grade will not be weighted. Both semesters of a yearlong course, plus writing the AP exam, are required for a weighted grade.

Each exam has a cost that will be incurred by the student.  If students are in need of financial assistance to help with the cost of AP exams, please see your assigned counselor for information.

AP Environmental Science (DMACC, NCAA, RAI)
SCI507 and SCI508
(Elective 11-12)      Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry, Algebra 

AP Environmental Science is a rigorous science course that stresses scientific principles and analysis. This course is designed to be equivalent to a one-year, introductory college course in environmental science with lecture, laboratory, and field experience components. The goal of this course is to provide students with scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationship of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and man-made, to evaluate the relative risk associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. This course must be taken for DMACC credit.

Taking the Advanced Placement exam is the culmination of the AP course curriculum.

Those students not writing the AP exam will have the course designated “Accelerated Environmental Science” on their transcript, and their grade will not be weighted. Both semesters of a yearlong course, plus writing the AP exam, are required for a weighted grade.

Each exam has a cost that will be incurred by the student.  If students are in need of financial assistance to help with the cost of AP exams, please see your assigned counselor for information.

AP Environmental Science with AP Seminar (Project-Based Learning Network)
PBL507 and PBL508
(Required 10-11-12) Full-Year Course

This course integrates AP Environmental Science and AP Seminar using project-based instructional strategies. Students will earn 2 credits for AP Environmental Science (DMACC, NCAA, RAI) and will earn 2 credits for AP Seminar.

Please see AP Environmental Science course for further course information.

AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision.

Taking the Advanced Placement exam is the culmination of the AP course curriculum.
Those students not writing the AP exam will have the course designated “Accelerated Environmental Science” on their transcript, and their grade will not be weighted. Both semesters of a yearlong course, plus writing the AP exam, are required for a weighted grade.
Each exam has a cost that will be incurred by the student. If students are in need of financial assistance to help with the cost of AP exams, please see your assigned counselor for information.

AP Physics I (NCAA, RAI)
SCI505 and SCI506
(Elective 11-12)      Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrently taking Pre-Calculus

This full-year course is designed to be taken by a student wanting a thorough knowledge of physics. It is assumed by the instructor that the student possesses sufficient background knowledge and math skills to be able to handle a university-level course. This course will cover Newtonian mechanics, work, energy, power, mechanical waves, sound, and electric circuits. This course will emphasize the development of problem-solving abilities. The student may take the AP exam on completion of this course.

Taking the Advanced Placement exam is the culmination of the AP course curriculum.

Those students not writing the AP exam will have the course designated “Accelerated Physics” on their transcript, and their grade will not be weighted. Both semesters of a yearlong course, plus writing the AP exam, are required for a weighted grade.

Each exam has a cost that will be incurred by the student.  If students are in need of financial assistance to help with the cost of AP exams, please see your assigned counselor for information.

Astronomy (NCAA, RAI)
SCI201 or SCI202
(Elective 10-11-12)      First OR Second Semester

This is a one-semester laboratory course devoted to the study of astronomy. Units of study that will be included are: objects that can be observed in the sky with the unaided eye such as the sun, planets, and stars; equipment that is used to further our knowledge of the universe; the relation between the earth and the other objects in the sky; the constellations and the zodiac; the motion of the objects in the sky.

Biology A (NCAA, RAI)
SCI209 and SCI210
(Elective 10-11-12)      Full-Year Course

This is a two-semester lab-based course. This course is appropriate for students who are looking to gain a basic understanding of life science skills and content through a problem-based approach. The course will consist of laboratory work, classroom activities, computer simulations, and assessments. This course places an emphasis on the life science standards associated with Iowa Science Standards.

Biology B (NCAA, RAI)
SCI211 and SCI212
(Elective 10-11-12) Full-Year Course

This is an enriched two-semester lab-based course. All topics are covered in greater breadth and depth than the Biology A course. This course will include the understanding of human body systems, micro, and macro evolution, and biochemistry in addition to the NGSS requirements covered in Biology A. Instructional shifts will include analytical reading and writing, applying mathematics and attention to modeling. Students who would like the option to take Human Anatomy or AP Levels of Science should enroll in this course. This course requires students to gain an understanding beyond the life science standards associated with Iowa Science Standards. Schedule changes from this course to Biology A can be made with teacher recommendation and must be done within the first ten weeks of the semester.

Biology B (Blended Instruction) (NCAA, RAI)
SCIb211 and SCIb212
(Elective 10-11-12) Full-Year Course

This is an enriched two-semester lab-based course. All topics are covered in greater breadth and depth than the Biology A course. This course will include the understanding of human body systems, micro, and macro evolution, and biochemistry in addition to the NGSS requirements covered in Biology A. Instructional shifts will include analytical reading and writing, applying mathematics and attention to modeling. Students who would like the option to take Human Anatomy or AP Levels of Science should enroll in this course. This course requires students to gain an understanding beyond the life science standards associated with Iowa Science Standards. Schedule changes from this course to Biology A can be made with teacher recommendation and must be done within the first ten weeks of the semester.

Biology B (Online Instruction) (NCAA, RAI)
SCIo211 and SCIo212
(Elective 10-11-12) Full-Year Course

This is an enriched two-semester lab-based course. All topics are covered in greater breadth and depth than the Biology A course. This course will include the understanding of human body systems, micro and macro evolution, and biochemistry in addition to the NGSS requirements covered in Biology A. Instructional shifts will include analytical reading and writing, applying mathematics and attention to modeling. Students who would like the option to take Human Anatomy or AP Levels of Science should enroll in this course. This course requires students to gain an understanding beyond the life science standards associated with Iowa Science Standards. Schedule changes from this course to Biology A can be made with teacher recommendation, and must be done within the first ten weeks of the semester.

Chemistry A (NCAA, RAI)
SCI305 and SCI306
(Elective 10-11-12)       Full-Year Course

This is a two-semester lab-based course. This course is appropriate for students who are looking to gain a basic understanding of the chemical sciences content through a problem-based approach. The course will consist of laboratory work, classroom activities, computer simulations, and assessments. This course places an emphasis on the chemical science standards associated with Iowa Science Standards.

Chemistry B (NCAA, RAI)
SCI307 and SCI308
(Elective 10-11-12) Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Algebra

This is an enriched two-semester lab-based course that incorporates more of the computational understanding associated with chemical knowledge. The topic covered include all of those listed in Chemistry A, plus stoichiometry, gas laws, rate laws, equilibrium constants, thermochemistry, and molecular geometry. Students should have a good understanding of Algebra to be able to solve problems using mathematical equations. Students who would like the option to take AP Chemistry or Organic Chemistry should enroll in this course, rather than Chemistry A. This course requires students to gain an understanding beyond the life science standards associated with Iowa Science Standards. Schedule changes from this course to Chemistry A can be made with teacher recommendation and must be done within the first two weeks of the semester.

Geology (NCAA)
SCI203 or SCI204
(Elective 10-11-12)      First OR Second Semester
Prerequisite: General Science 

This class is a one-semester introduction to the geology of Earth to gain a better understanding of how our planet works and how they interact and influence our lives.  During the semester students will explore maps and navigation, plate tectonics, the structure of Earth, rocks and minerals, our oceans, weather systems and climate, volcanoes and earthquakes, the geological history of our planet, fossils and the eras of life on our planet.

Human Anatomy and Physiology (NCAA, RAI)
SCI301 and SCI302
(Elective 11-12)      Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Biology

This is an advanced two-semester course designed for students interested in an in-depth study of the human body. The structure and function of all body systems are covered through text reading, class discussion, computer simulations, teacher explanation, and laboratory experiences which will include dissection of mammalian organs. It is expected that all students participate fully in all activities, including dissection. Introduction to the course will include the chemical basis of life, the cell and its metabolism, and a tissue unit. The body systems taught will be: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, urinary, reproductive, digestive, circulatory, lymphatic, endocrine, and respiratory.

Human Anatomy and Physiology (Blended Instruction) (NCAA, RAI)
SCIb301 and SCIb302
(Elective 11-12)      Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Biology

This is an advanced two-semester course designed for the student interested in an in-depth study of the human body. The structure and function of all body systems is covered through text reading, class discussion, computer simulations, teacher explanation, and laboratory experiences which will include dissection of mammalian organs. It is expected that all students participate fully in all activities including dissection. Introduction to the course will include the chemical basis of life, the cell and its metabolism as well as a tissue unit. The body systems taught will be: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, urinary, reproductive, digestive, circulatory, lymphatic, endocrine and respiratory. The course will be set-up in a fashion that requires the student to receive the delivery of instruction in the classroom and through a digital online media.


Introductory Physics
SCI403 or SCI404
(Elective 10-11-12)      First OR Second Semester

Introductory Physics is a semester course which focuses on the conceptual aspects of physics, with minimum mathematics. This course has a heavy emphasis on laboratory investigations. Students taking this course will experience hands-on activities which address force and motion, electricity and magnetism, light and optics, sound and waves, and energy. Students will make connections between these investigations and the occurrences in the real world. This course will not meet science requirements for entrance into colleges.

Organic Chemistry (NCAA, RAI)
SCI407 or SCI408
(Elective 11-12)     Second Semester
Prerequisite: AP Chemistry or an A in Chemistry

Organic chemistry is a rigorous science course designed for students that plan to major in a science field in college. The course is set up as a one-semester class in organic chemistry with lecture and laboratory experiences. The goal of this course is to prepare students to understand the principles and methodology of working with organic nomenclature and functional groups, organic chemical reactions and synthesis, polymers, and organic chemical analysis through the use of spectral data.

Physics (NCAA, RAI)
SCI401 and SCI402
(Elective 10-11-12)     Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Geometry

This full-year course will consist of the study of the following topics: optics and wave motion, motion and energy, electricity, and magnetism. The nature of the laws of physics will be covered through text reading, class activities, teacher explanation, and laboratory experiences. A working knowledge of basic geometry and trigonometry concepts is strongly suggested.

Principles of Engineering (DMACC, NCAA, RAI)
SCI405 and SCI406
(Elective 10-11-12)      Full-Year Course
Prerequisite: Geometry or concurrent enrollment in Geometry

This course helps students understand the field of engineering/engineering technology. It is a hands-on class involving multiple projects and explorations that introduce students to various engineering fields, technology systems, and manufacturing processes common in today’s engineering landscape. Students will learn how engineers and technicians use math, science, and technology to solve problems and benefit society. The course also includes concerns about social and political consequences of technological change. This course must be taken for DMACC credit.

Project Bio/Chem (Project-Based Learning Network)
PBL301 and PBL302
(Required 10-11-12) Full-Year Course

This course integrates Biology with Chemistry using project-based instructional strategies. Students will earn 2 credits for Biology (NCAA, RAI) and will earn 2 credits for Chemistry (NCAA, RAI). Please see each individual course for further course information.